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Yellowstone Prequel 1923 Reveals Casting News That Finally Clarifies John Dutton’s Ancestry

John Dutton in sunglasses and hat on Yellowstone
(Image credit: Paramount Network)

While Yellowstone largely kept its story simple when it came to looking back at John Dutton’s family history and the late relatives who were worth looking back on. But then Taylor Sheridan brought 1883’s James and Margaret Dutton into the world, with so many unconnected dots between their trip to Montana and John’s current fight to keep control of Paradise Valley. For months now, fans have been looking forward to seeing Hollywood icons Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren join this western universe for the year-swapped prequel 1923, but it’s only now thanks to a batch of newly revealed cast members that we finally know which part of the Dutton family will be explored in the Depression Era drama. 

Those with Paramount+ subscriptions can look forward to 1923 debuting on the service in December 2022 in the midst of Yellowstone Season 5's extended run, but we thankfully don’t have to wait that long to start theorizing about how all of these new characters will tie into the ones we know and love on the flagship series. But first, let’s discuss who the show’s two biggest stars will be portraying.

  • Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren will play Jacob and Cara Dutton

Rather than playing a descendent of Tim McGraw's James Dutton, Harrison Ford will be portraying his brother, who goes by the name of Jacob Dutton, while Helen Mirren will take on the role of his wife and presumably badass matriarch Cara. While James' fate didn't seem so positive after that last flashback during Yellowstone Season 4, this brotherly connection does make it entirely possible for James (and Margaret) to return, even though McGraw told CinemaBlend earlier this year that flashbacks and cameos might water down his character's impact. But if the story's good, how amazing would it be to see McGraw and Ford sharing the screen together? Especially after that Tom Hanks cameo in 1883

  • James Badge Dale will play John Dutton Sr.

24 vet James Badge Dale will get the honor of portraying John Dutton Sr., who was played famously by Dabney Coleman in Yellowstone proper. Paramount+'s announcement confirmed that John Dutton Sr. is indeed James' kid (the oldest) and Jacob's nephew, and he'll be serving as his uncle's right hand man. 

  • Darren Mann will play Jack Dutton

Animal Kingdom's Darren Mann is going from one violence-loving family drama to another, as he'll be taking on the role of Jack Dutton in 1923. Jack, a fiercely loyal member of the family, is the son of John Dutton Sr., and the nephew of Jacob. 

  • Marley Shelton will play Emma Dutton

Marley Shelton of Scream fame will be playing Emma, the wife of John Dutton Sr. and Jack's mother. She's labeled as being dutiful, which seems like a no-brainer. 

And now here are the rest of the new cast members who aren't members of the Dutton family...yet. 

  • Michelle Randolph will play Elizabeth Strafford

A Snow White Christmas' Michelle Randolph is higher up in the new cast announcements as the character Elizabeth Stafford, who is noted as being a "feisty and capable young woman" who is geared up to marry into the Dutton family. Place your bets on where that marriage will fit into things. 

  • Brian Geraghty will play Zane

Big Sky's Brian Geraghty sounds like he'll be taking on the Rip or Lloyd role for 1923, as he'll be a fiercely loyal ranchhand for the Dutton family. 

  • Aminah Nieves will play Teonna Rainwater

Another recognizable character name! Blueberry's Aminah Nieves will be playing Teonna Rainwater, who is described as being a "young woman at a goverment residential boarding school." Which is easily the most mysterious entry in the bunch, simply by not just being someone on the ranch.

  • Julia Schlaepfer will play Alexandra

Sounds like someone from the Dutton family will be doing more traveling when 1923 comes around, as The Politician's Julia Schlaepfer is set to play a British woman who crosses paths with someone from the family during their time across the pond. 

Let's get our cowboy hats on that also double as our thinking caps, and contemplate what might happen with all of these characters with 1923 hits Paramount+ in December 2022. Head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what other new and returning shows to see what else is hitting the small screen soon. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.